Thursday, 6 February 2020

To be electric or not to be


Ah yes, I remembered I wrote a line about political ideas some time ago, you know the ones, a quick line in a newspaper about some important subject. A subject like ‘How to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere’. And lo and behold the Conservatives have come up with a beauty.

The government has decided or intends to decide (You never know what is true and what is not, nowadays) to ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars. Great, we all agree. Or do we? Let’s think what it would entail. First of all the people employed in the manufacture of engines and their hundreds of parts. Secondly, the infrastructure needed to service electric vehicles. Battery capabilities. Even more, how to power up the batteries. I am living in an area of Wales where there are possibly no more than 10 charging stations. Ikea in Cardiff is the only one I know with two, yes TWO charging points. Possibly a few more at the motorway service stations, but I haven’t seen them. However, if we are all now required to drive electric cars by 2035, yes in fifteen years; we can safely state, work to the infrastructure is already too late! There would have to be thousands if not millions of charging points, at home and at places of employment. Cables sneaking over pavements because most people have to park in the main roads outside their houses. And how are we to deal with multiple car ownership? Also following, is the question of our electricity generating capability enough to cope with 20 or more million cars all charging at the same time?
Ah yes, I know I am asking stupid questions, but perhaps it is yet again time to point out, DO NOT OPEN MOUTH BEFORE ENGAGING BRAIN, please. 
 
Of course it is a good idea, but it is no more than that, the reality is a heck of a lot different. I think it is time to start seriously working at workable ideas. Yes, it would mean we might have to give up things we have become used to. Driving cars can no longer be commonplace. We might need permits to drive at certain times. This could mean car sharing going to work. Cars will have to be reduced in size, both in body and engine power. Choice will have to be curtailed for everyone, rich or poor. Flying will also have to be curtailed heavily. If you do not believe me, have a look at a website like – flightradar24.com – and see how many planes are in the sky 24-7! I have heard that most are not even full. So, it will probably mean curtailing commercialism or dismantling society as we know it and start again. Wow, some prospect that would be.

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